Cover image for The Oxford companion to Irish history
The Oxford companion to Irish history
Connolly, S. J. (Sean J.)
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xix, 650 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DA912 .O94 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
DA912 .O94 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



'A companion to be cherished', 'judicious and authoritative', 'excellent work', 'informative and entertaining', these are just some of the phrases used by reviewers describing the first edition of The Oxford Companion to Irish History, published in hardback in 1998.The history of Ireland has long been a topic at the forefront of debate and one that continues to raise emotions and be the cause of much dispute. It is astonishing that such a small area of land has had one of the most controversial yet fascinating histories of any country in the world. Interest inIrish culture, politics, and society, both ancient and modern, never seems to falter, not only in scholarly circles but also among the general public.With over 1,800 entries, the Companion, now in its second edition, continues to offer a comprehensive and authoritative guide to all aspects of the Irish past from earliest times to the present day. There is coverage not only of leading political figures, organizations, and events but also ofsubjects such as dress, music, sport, and diet. Traditional topics such as the rebellion of 1798 and the Irish Civil War sit alongside entries on newly developing areas such as women's history and popular culture. The editor, Sean Connolly, with the help of the existing 87 contributors and a small number of new contributors, has updated and revised the text to take into account recent research and events. The coverage has been expanded to offer a fuller treatment of prehistoric and early historic Ireland andmore comprehensive information on literary history. There are also new entries on individuals who have died since the first edition was published. In addition the sections dealing with politics in the Irish Republic and in Northern Ireland have been rewritten to take full account of developments upto the end of the 20th century.New / rewritten entries include:Visual Arts (art schools, ceramics, furniture, history painting, painting, sculpture)Politics / Religion (Brendan Corish, James Dillon, Sean MacDermott, Alfred O'Rahilly, peace process, Progressive Democrats, Michael Tierney, Workers' Party)Literature (Dun Emer Press, Lady Augusta Gregory, James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw, Lady Jane ('Speranza') Wilde)Prehistoric and Early Ireland (Bronze Age Ireland, Celtic Ireland, crannog, La Tene in Ireland, Mesolithic Ireland, Neolithic Ireland, rath)Medieval Ireland (fuidir, MacCarthy, O'Brien, O'Donnell, senchleithe, sept)Other (agriculture, Devon Commission, John Henry Newman, Ulster Scots)In addition to A-Z entries the Companion includes a section of maps showing the shape of modern Ireland, post-reformation ecclesiastical divisions in Ireland, political divisions circa 800, Ireland circa 1350, Ireland in the late 15th century, and the pattern of transport and communications inIreland. There is also a subject index, which groups headwords into thematic batches to provide an alternative way to access the entries. This second edition of the Companion, continuing on from the original, will be valuable to different people for different uses. It will be of particular use to students as a work of general reference and to the general public with an interest in the history and culture of Ireland. But it should alsohave appeal to academics, both for the longer analytical entries and as a source of reference for topics outside of their immediate area of expertise.

Author Notes

Professor Sean Connolly is currently Professor of Irish History at the School of Modern History, Queen's University, Belfast. His previous posts have included Archivist at the Public Records Office of Ireland, Lecturer at St Patrick's College, Dublin, and Lecturer and later Reader in Historyat the University of Ulster. He is the author and editor of a number of titles (see 'Books by the same author' below).

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

New edition updates coverage to reflect recent developments and also revises entries on prehistoric and early historic Ireland in light of new research. Treatment of the visual arts and literary figures has been expanded. The previous edition was published in 1998.

Library Journal Review

Some 87 Irish historians contributed the 1800 entries in this comprehensive tome. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

YA-Even though Irish history is not a part of the curriculum in many of today's schools, YAs will be hooked by this book. The 1800 entries are organized in alphabetical order and, although most are short and provide only minimal detail, many are cross-referenced to other entries. Almost every aspect of Irish history is covered from the Neolithic era to medieval times through the numerous uprisings against British rule, to the recent troubles in Northern Ireland. Topics range from the obvious, such as the 1916 Uprising, literature, and the potato famines of the 1840s, to the esoteric, such as the gallowglass, pipe rolls, and the Black Pig's Dyke. The detailed maps help to place the locations of the events, while many of the articles include short lists of books for further reading. This volume will be particularly useful for students studying revolutions of the world or noted Irish literary giants such as Yeats or Swift.-Robert Burnham, R. E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Another in the long line of Oxford companions, this extensive source is a balanced and evenhanded addition to any library's reference collection. Arranged alphabetically, its entries range from simple definitions to longer analytical essays. Cross-references are abundant, and entries cover everything from Irish prehistory to urbanization, William of Orange to Michael Collins. A helpful subject index at the back lists broad categories of research, such as acts of parliament, education, and visual arts, followed by more specific entries and names mentioned in the entries. Six helpful black-and-white maps indicate, among other things, political divisions and loyalties over time. Complex controversial issues--e.g., divorce, abortion, the IRA, unionism--are treated succinctly but fairly. Contributors (nearly all history professors at Irish colleges and universities) are credited, and references for further reading are often included. There are no entries for living persons, and the most recent event to have its own entry occurred in 1985. M. P. Tosko American University

Table of Contents

List of Maps
Preface to the First Edition
Note to the Reader
A-Z Entries
Subject Index